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Fourth of July fireworks cause 68 horses to crash into fences, stables

By
Ray Downs
Wild horse Foal, with mother Brandi, are seen on July 10, 2009 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington. In Kentucky, dozens of horses crashed into fences and stables after being frightened by a fireworks display. File Photo by Mehgan Murphy/National Zoo/UPI
Wild horse Foal, with mother Brandi, are seen on July 10, 2009 at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington. In Kentucky, dozens of horses crashed into fences and stables after being frightened by a fireworks display. File Photo by Mehgan Murphy/National Zoo/UPI | License Photo

July 4 (UPI) -- Dozens of horses in Kentucky were frightened by the sounds of fireworks and crashed into stables and fences as they ran away Monday.

"These horses don't know what fireworks are all about," horse owner Wendy Winstead told WAVE. "I'm as patriotic as anybody else but this has got to stop."

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A total of 68 horses were out to pasture when the fireworks went off Monday night, causing the horses to run in a panic. Many of the animals, including young foals, were injured as they ran into the structures.

"They took off running. I had mares and foals screaming like they were being terrorized," Winstead told WDRB.

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Winstead, who owns Team Aloha, a horse training and breeding farm in Bagdad, Ky., said that someone could get hurt by frightened horses jumping over fences and onto the street.

"If a horse busts through a fence, gets out on the road, gets hit by a car, that's my liability," she said. "It could kill someone."

Horsebreeder Kathy Snyder said one of her horses died as a result of Fourth of July fireworks festivities.

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The grass was wet. He ran spooked, scared out of his life and broke his hip," she said. "The next morning I had to have him euthanized."

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Horse reactions to fireworks are a common concern for horseowners and many take extra precautions to avoid problems on Independence Day.

"We typically keep our horses in the barn and turn up the radio and fans to help drown out some of the loud noises from fireworks and nearby parties," said Jennifer Whittle of TheHorse.com.

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Other strategies include keeping horses in the stalls during firework displays or even providing sedatives for particularly anxious horses.

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